The Injured Athlete

When an athlete is injured being removed from their sport is not the only challenge they will face. No matter the level of involvement in your sport, an injury is a blow to not only the playing component but also to other aspects of your life. The impact of the injury can range from effecting your thoughts, feelings, emotions, to changing social dynamics and your overall psyche.

My philosophy is to focus on the whole person, not just the athletic part of you. To make sure your rehabilitation goes as smoothly and effectively as possible, it is vital to address the emotional, social and psyche strain that you are going through or may face. To begin, it will be key to address the affect the injury has had on various aspects of your life, not just the sport part. Second, you will learn effective strategies to deal with the emotions and feelings you are experiencing as well as the challenges you may face on your path back to competing.  This process will focus on the positive by helping you achieve your rehabilitation goals and removing focus from on the injury to on how you are going to get better. In turn, this will help you grow as a person and an athlete. Below is an excerpt taken from my thesis entitled "How Injury Affects Athletes: Counseling Resources For Coping with Socio-emotional and Physical Loss".
 
"A key statement that sums up the reason why athletes need assistance is provided in the Leddy et al. (1994) article. Leddy et al. state that the athletes interviewed expressed an “inability to cope with their injury, the long rehabilitation that followed, the activity restriction and the sense of being externally controlled by the injury.” Among athletes, there is a general lack of knowledge in how to deal with loss. Many athletes prior to injury are confident and have high levels of self-esteem, almost to a point of feeling invincible. It is important to begin to shift the focus from only the sport aspect of the athlete’s life to a broader view. When an athlete sustains an injury, being removed from their sport is not the only effect the injury has. Other effects can be shown in their emotions and feelings both physiologically, and socially. When an athlete sustains an injury all those points are in a sense injured. For an athlete an injury is a large loss that they are not equipped to handle."